Three very nicely decorated pumpkins sit on top of a chair outside the apartment next to me — two very small ones, and a slightly larger one, sitting in between them. They are looking directly across at a pumpkin of medium stature that I carved — well to be precise — poked a few holes into. My pumpkin looks like a doofus — deliberate on my part. I wonder what they would say to each other, if they could talk — plenty, I’m sure. The rain from last night has eased up. I hope it stays that way, so the kids can have fun tonight, going trick-or-treating.
On another note: today is Reformation Day, almost overshadowed by the armada of orange pumpkins. An important date in history, nearly five centuries ago, attributed largely to Martin Luther. Interestingly enough, it has also been a national holiday in Chile (a continent away), since 2009. Martin Luther would be surprised I’m sure.
OK, time to fill the bowl with Hershey’s kisses — orange ones of course. My cat Calvin will be most curious as to all this hoopla and excitement.
As I wrote last year, Erntedanktag is the German equivalent of the American Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving here is a celebration for family and friends, and a time to invite people, Erntedanktag honors God for the harvest he has provided at the hands of farmers and home gardeners who till the earth.
I’m sometimes saddened when I see the incredible variety of fruits and vegetable that we have here in California in the supermarkets, where produce is often taken for granted — often thoughtlessly dumped into a basket. I have also seen vegetables or fruit dropped on the floor and not get picked up. I’m grateful my parents taught me to respect food. It is all the more fun to see when someone shops carefully, selecting seasonal delights to prepare into something sumptuous.
I have noticed some changes in the culture recently. At least in California and Oregon there seem to be more and more farm to table communities popping up, and chefs are opening restaurants relying on fresh, seasonal, and organic produce from local farmers and markets — sensible — and you sure can taste the difference.
That reminds me of a long time ago, when I grew some ornamental decorative pumpkins at my parent’s house in Germany, and then in the fall when they were ripe, tried to sell them at a local farmer’s market in Bad Hersfeld. I am not a good salesman, and at the time decorative pumpkins were unknown in Germany. At the market I would get questions ranging from “can you eat that?”, to “how come they are so small?” Restraint on my part, as to a reply was in order. I think I may have sold five or six of the pumpkins. It was a bit discouraging, and I learned to see the market from a farmer’s perspective, making me appreciate their profession even more. I guess I like the planting, and tending to part.
Have a blessed Sunday
I paid a visit to a Home Depot store the other day (during the last days of October), to purchase a few household maintenance items. Outside the store sat dozens of pumpkins waiting to be taken home and carved, or better yet, turned into pie. It reminded me of the Half Moon Bay pumpkin festival, where they seem to have the annual pumpkin convention, more than well attended, judging by the sea of orange. Inside the store however, no pumpkins were to bee seen — instead Christmas music (and bad music at that) blared over the speakers, as Christmas merchandise was piled high and wide. Come on folks, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. It’s really disheartening to see such corporate greed, taking all the joy out of the gradual seasonal changes and their accompanying holidays, not to mention the total lack of regard for Christmas and it’s true meaning of God’s son Jesus coming to earth for us. The employees who I talked to about it, seemed resigned to the unseasonal intrusion.
This morning, while I sat in the back under the “acorn tree”, as I playfully like to call it, my cat Calvin joined me, first coming down the stairs at a brisk pace, and then casually exploring the surroundings, including a curious sniff of my donut, that was acknowledged, but left alone (I did eat some bread with cheese and salami too — in case there are questions about nutrition). The jumpiness on his part in regards to falling acorns seems to have disappeared too.
I saw two people coming down the driveway that extends along the fence and then saw the man pick up an acorn cap, which he proceeded to bring near his mouth, cupping his hands and which he then blew into. A high whistling sound emerged. He grinned at me and said, “these acorn caps sure are practical if you get lost in the woods”. After they had left — monkey see — monkey do, I tried to emulate his feat with an acorn shell, alas to no avail. I never could whistle either, much to my consternation. Oh well — we all have different gifts and talents.
Have a blessed week